Army Ushers In Home Slate Versus Northern Illinois

Trent Steelman

Trent Steelman

Sept. 13, 2012

WEST POINT, N.Y. - The Army football team kicks off its home schedule on Saturday, Sept. 15, when the Black Knights host Mid-American Conference foe Northern Illinois at Michie Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 12 p.m.

CBS Sports Network will broadcast Saturday's contest to a national audience with Ben Holden (play by play), Randy Cross (color analyst) and West Point Cadet Brad Strimel (sideline reporter) calling the action.

The Army Sports Network will have the audio call of the game on its flagship station WABC (770-AM), as well as WALL (1340-AM) and WEOK (1390-AM), Sirius Satellite Radio (channel 134) and Knight Vision. Rich DeMarco (play by play), Dean Darling (color analyst) and Tony Morino (sideline reporter) will cover the game on the Army Sports Network.

Live statistics for the contest will be offered via GameTracker by logging onto Army's official website (www.goARMYsports.com). In-game Twitter updates will also be provided from the Black Knights' official handle (@ArmyAthletics) and the Army football handle (@Army_Football). A live blog will also be provided.

Army (0-1) lost at San Diego State, 42-7, in its season opener last Saturday. The Black Knights fell behind 35-0 midway through the third quarter before getting on the scoreboard. Army won three of its four home games last season, and the Black Knights will look to continue that trend on Saturday afternoon.

Northern Illinois (1-1) picked up its first win of the young season last weekend, defeating FCS foe Tennessee-Martin, 35-7. The Huskies opened the 2012 campaign by dropping a hard-fought 18-17 decision to Big Ten member Iowa in a game played at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Army and Northern Illinois have met just twice previously. The Black Knights won the inaugural meeting back in 1992 (21-14), while the Huskies leveled the series last season with a 49-26 victory in DeKalb, Ill.

Army head coach Rich Ellerson shows a 0-1 record versus Northern Illinois. Ellerson, who is in his fourth season as the Black Knights' head coach, currently owns a 15-23 record at West Point.

Dave Doeren is in his second season as head coach of Northern Illinois. Doeren, who led the Huskies to 11 victories in his first year on the job, currently boasts a 12-4 record in DeKalb. He guided NIU to the MAC title and a victory over Arkansas State in the GoDaddy.com Bowl in his inaugural campaign last season.

Army junior running back Raymond Maples and Black Knight sophomore running back Terry Baggett both eclipsed the 100-yard plateau against San Diego State. Baggett finished with a career-high 100 yards and one touchdown on a career-best 13 carries.

While Army amassed 282 rushing yards versus SDSU, the Black Knights' passing game was held in check by the Aztecs with senior quarterback Trent Steelman completing just 3-for-8 passes for 50 yards and a pair of interceptions.

Maples led the receiving corps with one catch for 23 yards. Junior wide receiver Patrick Laird and sophomore wide out Chevaughn Lawrence were also on the receiving end of Steelman aerials.

Sophomore linebacker Geoffery Bacon paced the Army defense with nine tackles against San Diego State. Senior safety Ty Shrader chipped in a career-high eight stops, while senior linebacker Nate Combs matched his career best with two sacks.

The Northern Illinois offense is a balanced outfit that is averaging 180 rushing yards per game and 134 passing yards per contest. Last week versus Tennesee-Martin, the Huskies gained 213 yards on the ground and 214 yards through the air.

Junior quarterback Jordan Lynch, who directs the NIU offense, leads the team in both rushing and passing yards. The third-year signal caller is completing 61 percent of his passes for 268 yards and one touchdown, while also rushing for 179 yards and four scores.

Junior running back Leighton Settle ranks second on the squad in rushing, having gained 139 yards on the ground. Senior wide receiver Martel Moore has been Lynch's favorite target in the passing game with eight receptions for 85 yards and one touchdown.

Junior defensive back Jimmie Ward, who has recorded a team-high 22 tackles through two games, spearheads a Huskies defense that is allowing an average of 12.5 points and 307 yards per game. Senior defensive end Alan Baxter and junior defensive end Joe Windsor are tied for the team lead with two sacks apiece.

Following Saturday's game versus Northern Illinois, Army travels to Winston-Salem, N.C., to face Wake Forest. The contest, which will be televised by the ACC Network, is slated to kick off at 12:30 p.m.

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